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We examined the relationship of breeding birds to elevation across and within four adjacent mountain ranges in the central Great Basin, a cold desert in western North America. Data came from 7 years of point counts at elevations from 1,915 to 3,145 m. We focused on eight passerine species that in this region are associated frequently with Pinus monophylla–Juniperus spp. (pinyon–juniper) woodland. Mean elevation of species' presence differed significantly among mountain ranges for all species except Spizella passerina (Chipping Sparrow); all species except Spizella breweri (Brewer's Sparrow) occurred at the highest mean elevation in the Toquima Range. Observed patterns were consistent with the elevational distribution...